Take a 20-minute ride from the well-manicured community of Southlake through the back roads of rural Roanoke and you might, if you can find it, stumble upon McFadden Ranch.
The 48-bed facility set in the middle of a handful of acres serves as the centerpiece for this community-based residential program that, through the Texas Youth Commission, provides care and treatment to juvenile offenders.
The drive is one several members of the Southlake Carroll football team have become very familiar with over the last few months... for all the right reasons.
Nearly every week this summer around 15 Dragons, mostly offensive linemen, show up at 6 p.m. to engage in a friendly game of softball with the TYC kids. The groups share gloves, bats, watermelon and testimonial for about two hours each time.
This all started by Carroll senior offensive lineman Nathan Butler. His father, Steve Butler hosts a bible study for football players every Wednesday during the school year. Once summer commenced, Nathan came up with the idea to play softball at McFadden Ranch.
"[Southlake Carroll] Coach [Hal] Wasson always tells us to go out and reach out," Nathan Butler said. "My dad's been doing prison ministries for as long as I can remember. So I am just following in his footsteps and doing something to help the offensive line and defensive line come together."
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Prison ministry by and for youth
Here's a nice article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about high school athletes at Southlake-Carroll taking time for a weekly softball game with TYC youth from McFadden Ranch. The story opens: